BDS activists to Madonna: Cancel Eurovision performance

Palestinian Arab academics and intellectuals call on pop singer to abandon her plans to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.

Elad Benari,

Madonna
Madonna
Reuters

A group of Palestinian Arab academics and intellectuals are pressing Madonna to abandon her plans to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Israel next month.

The European Broadcasting Union confirmed earlier this week that the pop icon will take the stage in Tel Aviv on May 28. It will be her fourth time performing in the Jewish state.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) - part of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign – has called on her to cancel the performance, suggesting her appearance would be used by the Israeli government "to mask its deepening oppression of Palestinians."

A statement posted to social media by PACBI and quoted by SBS News read, "Palestinians hope that you will not undermine our struggle for freedom, justice and equality by performing at Eurovision in apartheid Tel Aviv, on the ruins of the ethnically-cleansed village of al-Shaykh Muwannis.”

"The call from Palestinian artists to boycott Eurovision hosted by Israel is supported by more than 100,000 people signing petitions, over 100 LGBTQIA groups, more than 20 Israeli artists, and hundreds of prominent international artists including the 1994 Eurovision winner,” the organization said.

"Israel's fanatic, far-right government is cynically exploiting your performance, and those of the contestants, to mask its deepening oppression of Palestinians," it charged.

There have been numerous calls to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest this year due to the fact that is being hosted by Israel, following Netta Barzilai’s victory in last year’s contest with her song “Toy”.

Most recently, 50 public British figures signed an open letter calling for the contest to be moved to another country because of alleged Israeli “human rights violations”.

One of the signatories to the letter is former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, a notorious anti-Israel activist who has verbally attacked and pressured many artists who chose to perform in Israel over the last several years.

Waters was also among a group of more than 100 artists who published an open letter this past September calling for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 since it is being held in Israel.

Despite the repeated calls for a boycott, dozens of countries have confirmed participation in the 2019 contest. They include Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom.




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